The Australian Food and Drug Administration has been asked to investigate whether herbal medicine is safe for people with diabetes and to assess the effectiveness of some herbal medicines on their symptoms.
The agency has been reviewing the use of herbal medicine in Australia for a number of years and the Federal Government has made clear its interest in the issue.
Dr Paul Gittins, the Chief Medical Officer of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Authority (AHPRA), said the agency was aware of a number anecdotal reports that some herbal products could be helpful for some people with certain conditions.
“It is important to note that the AHPRA does not regulate the use and safety of medicinal products,” Dr Gittin said.
“[But] the AHPCA is currently undertaking a review of the current evidence and the proposed regulations and it will be providing its views to the Federal Minister for Health at the end of this month.”
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is also examining whether certain herbal products are likely to cause harm, and if so, whether they should be regulated.
Mr Morrison said he had been looking at the issue closely and the AHRC was considering whether to make an inquiry into the herbal products that were currently on the market.
He said the Government would work with the AHAC to ensure they had the appropriate advice.
A review of medicinal herbs and products will be completed this year, he said.
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